Last week Bounce Energy asked me if I’d like to take their newest product for a test drive and give my thoughts. My first reaction, was “Why does a new plan need a test drive?” That confusion was cleared up in short order. Bounce’s newest addition to the Texas electricity market is a “Build Your Own Electricity Plan.” Are you intrigued? Well, in my opinion, you should be, because I thought this was the coolest thing I’ve seen in the Texas electricity market in years. Let’s break down how it works below.
Like any other electricity website in Texas, the Build Your Own Plan (BYOP) starts off by asking you to enter your address. But that’s where the similarities end. Once you’ve verified your address, Bounce will run you through a process to select exactly what kind of electricity plan you think is your “perfect plan.” The first step is the most obvious one, asking a customer if they would like a Fixed Rate Plan (signing a contract for a specific time period) or a Month-To-Month electricity plan. Once a customer does that, the next step dynamically appears on the page. And this is where things get really interesting.
Assuming a customer picks a Fixed Rate Plan, the next step allows the shopper to pick the duration of his contract from a drop-down menu. Anything from 3 to 36 months and a customer can select ANY time allotment in between. Want a 17-month plan? a 19-month plan? All are possible options, with probably 25 of those options outside the realm of normal plan tenures. That itself is a very neat feature for customers, but not what makes this process so unique.
As customers select different term lengths, a display on the right side of the page auto-refreshes with the exact rate a customer will be paying. In other words, they can actually see how their choices effect their overall monthly rate. And that’s not just for the term length, that goes for every single step in the BYOP process.
After term length, customers can select if they want a green electricity plan. They can choose 100%, 75%, 50%, or 25%, or 0%, and each one of THOSE options will automatically adjust the plan pricing on the right-hand side of the screen. Ditto with the next two items in the process, Auto-Pay, and Paperless Billing, both of which Bounce offers discounts if customers enroll.
What I think truly sets this plan apart from anything else on the market isn’t just the level of personal customization, although that is nice. What I think is truly remarkable about this plan is the transparency it gives the customer. They can actually select different options and see exactly what effect it has on their final electricity rate, and those changes show up in real-time on the customer’s screen as they go along. This will not just allow them a chance to customize their own plan to their financial needs, but I’d argue that it will help shoppers understand exactly what goes into effecting their final plan rate. In short, it’s really, really neat for customers to customize their plans, as well as help them understand how their rates actually work.
Another nice touche about the process is that each step includes extensive roll-over instructions that help explain to shoppers what each step means, and what options might be right for them. Also, when they’re done with the process and sign up for the plan, a customized Electricity Facts Label will be displayed, right down to a custom name like “John Smith’s Electricity Plan.” I thought that was a cool little touch.
Overall, I think Bounce’s “Build Your Own Plan” functionality is a completely unique, original addition to the Texas electricity market. It’s a fun and functional experience for customers and even helps educate customers about the electricity market simply by shopping for their next plan. Well done, Bounce Energy.